We all trotted off to Harewood House yesterday. This must-visit stately home between Leeds and Harrogate is a little notorious these days because the enormous wealth and privilege it represents was built as a direct result of the slave trade. Designed by architects John Carr and Robert Adam, it was built, between 1759 and 1771, for Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood, a wealthy West Indian plantation and slave-owner.
These days, the family does what it can to move on from these distasteful roots. I’ll probably write more later about a current exhibition there – Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters, which looks at a wide range of social justice and environmental issues. But I found my last photo of the month, taken there, irresistible. It’s perhaps not the sort of poster you’d normally find gracing a stately home?
Have I really not taken a photograph since last Sunday? Apparently not. But my last snapshot is a good souvenir. It’s the final event in Ripon’s first Theatre Festival, and here we all are, all 500 of us, at Fountains Abbey, waiting for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream played by the spirited and energetic Illyria to begin.
For Brian’s Last on the Card challenge, I’m only supposed you show my last photo, and without commentary at that, but why shouldn’t I give you a flavour of Saturday in the Market Square, with its bands, its jugglers, its stilt walkers, its slapstick entertainers?
My choir was part of the Fringe too, and sang a cappella at the bandstand in the Spa Gardens bright and early on the Saturday. But I couldn’t take a photo and sing too. You can take multi-tasking too far.
As you wander down the hill to Fountains Abbey, and arrive at West Green, you’ll spot a tree, a sweet chestnut tree with – how odd! – a girdle of headphones hanging from its branches.
This information board explains all: these headphones enable you to listen in, via highly sensitive microphones, to the hidden sounds of the tree.
Truly – it’s astonishing, mesmerising. Just as our blood courses round our body, day in, day out, so water and air courses constantly through the tree. Through headphones, it sounds something like the tinkling of a mountain stream as it tumbles over pebbles. And behind it, as your ears adjust, there’s a low, more intermittent soft rumbling sound. This is the tree moving. Saturday was a still day, but we could hear that rumbling as we listened closely. On a windy day, I wonder what we’d have heard?
This next photo is the last I took, and the last one of all for April, so one for Brian Bushboy’s Last on the Card
During May, I’m taking a break. I probably won’t even have a chance to read the posts of those of you I follow. When I get the chance though, I’ll try to send a virtual postcard or two.
This was the last photo I took yesterday, as I was safely indoors. It was 3.00 p.m., and I thought daughter-who-lives-in-Spain would like to see what she was missing as sleet careered past the window. She didn’t appear to feel awfully jealous. .
A single image to tell a whole story. That’s what Ann Christine, in her Lens-Artists Challenge asks us to post this week. Many bloggers have already played along, and many have also told the story that goes with the picture. I’m made of meaner stuff. I’ll give you four photos. You provide four stories. Is that a deal? Your tales may not get much further than your head, but if you want to share them, I’d love to read them.
The featured image seems to be the aftermath of – well – perhaps you know?
And why is there a clock on a hedge in a country lane? Perhaps Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit knows?
We saw this scene in Málaga, but never found out more about this apparently appalling crime.
My last photo was also my last of the month, so qualifies for Brian aka Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge. I don’t know whether there’s a story here, but judging by the racket coming down from the tree, there were plenty of stories being told.
With just a few minutes to spare before leaving London on a train to Yorkshire which I feared would be over-crowded and a mask-free zone (I was right on both counts, unfortunately), there was just time to have a brisk walk in the rain in the area between Kings Cross Station and Coal Drops Yard.
The last photo I took in September was of a disabled dragon. This dragon’s glory days are all in the past. No longer can he roar, belching fearsome flames from his mighty maw. He’s a Covid-era dragon, sensibly equipped with a face mask. Scary dragons are so last millennium.